Every now and then, a ditty from my childhood pops into my mind unbidden. I do not know from whence it comes, but it comes nevertheless. One of my recent inexplicable memories was a child's book that included a song.
Back in the day, we didn't have all this here techno-gimmetry. We had a handful of read-aloud books with little 45-rpm records that fit into a slot in the back cover of the book. I'd get the turntable ready, and clumsily put my record on it, then set the needle in position and hurriedly open my book to read along to the scratchy story. I believe I had a rendition of Bambi, or maybe some other tragic Disney story, but my favorite read-along was Johnny Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet.
Being a clueless child, I didn't realize that the genius of Johnny and Alice's story was found in the liltingly beautiful voices singing the words to the storybook—none other than the fabulously talented Andrews Sisters. Add one corny, touching love story to those gorgeous pipes, and you have a winner.
I told my son about it, and he was curious. I found it on YouTube (of course I did, because if you look hard enough, you can find anything on YouTube). I made him listen to it, which he didn't mind because it turns out that my little storybook was based on a cartoon movie that accompanied the song. Then my husband heard us singing the words; it turns out that he was not familiar with this classic. Can you believe it? Grew up in a cultureless vortex, that one...
So we made him listen and watch, too. He wasn't as entranced as I thought he should have been. Alas. I try to bring meaning and purpose to his life in every way I can. If he refuses to accept my offerings? That is beyond my control.
What's that, reader? Is it possible that you, too, are unfamiliar with this gem of Americana? Well, now, we can't have that.
Go here. Enjoy. And remember a time when even children's entertainment was of a higher class.